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Tailgating troubles us

Driving school instructor Rick Lauf hopes people will learn to respect road rules for the safety of all drivers.
Driving school instructor Rick Lauf hopes people will learn to respect road rules for the safety of all drivers. Marc Stapelberg

TAILGATING has been identified as the driving habit that Northern Rivers drivers are most ticked off about.

An NRMA Survey of NSW and ACT motorists has revealed tailgating (42%), followed by not letting drivers merge into lanes (39%) and slow drivers hogging the right-hand lane (36%) were the most common gripes of motorists.

Driving Ambition driving school owner Rick Lauf said he wasn't surprised about the number of drivers annoyed by tailgaters.

"Tailgating is the most common cause of accidents," he said.

"It is when one vehicle is less than three seconds behind another."

He said the only thing motorists could do to increase their safety in a tailgating situation was to slow down, but this also had adverse consequences.

"It tends to exacerbate the problem because the person tailgating gets more annoyed."

"But if somebody is tailgating you their reaction time becomes worse, so this will increase your safety."

Mr Lauf said courtesy and patience were characteristics lacking in many motorists.

Yesterday the NRMA launched a campaign to encourage drivers to be more courteous and to help reduce road rage.

The Courtesy Campaign is part of NRMA's commitment to the United Nations' Decade of Action for Road Safety.

NRMA president Wendy Machin said more than 90% of drivers waved to thank other drivers for letting them in.

"We all know how frustrating it can be if someone is driving slowly in the right lane or they don't let others merge," she said.

"Sadly, all too often an aggressive beep of the horn or a four- letter word screamed out the window may escalate into a dangerous situation."

"It's remarkable how quickly things can be defused by an apologetic wave if you made a mistake that affected another driver."

Topics:  driving, northern rivers, nrma survey, tailgating


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